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terça-feira, 18 de agosto de 2015

Brazilian researcher living in Lebanon, Roberto Khatlab releases this week his work that presents studies and annotations by the emperor about the countries visited in 1871 and 1876.

Book covers Dom Pedro II journeys to the Arab world

The painting on the cover is from Iryna Novytska

São Paulo – The trips made by emperor Dom Pedro II to the Middle East and North Africa between 1871 and 1876 had their routes remade by researcher Roberto Khatlab in the book he releases this week by Benvirá, fiction and non-fiction trademark of publisher Saraiva. The work by the Brazilian, who lives in Beirut, Lebanon, is based on the diary that the emperor wrote during his route and it shows studies and annotations made by Dom Pedro II about the peoples, language and culture.

From Paraná state, born in the city of Maringã, Khatlab is the recipient of the Lebanese literature award Said Akl and currently is the director of the Latin American Studies and Cultures Center of the Holy Spirit University (Lascc-Usek). He is the author of several books about history, religion, Brazil-Middle East relationship and immigration, in Portuguese, Arabic, French and Spanish.

During Dom Pedro II’s reign, he took three large international trips with two of them including the Middle East and North Africa, regions with Arab countries. He visited Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Egypt. In the trips, the monarch kept journals, recording his experiences through writing and his own drawings. The diaries are part of the Historical Archive of the Petrópolis Imperial Museum, located in the city of same name in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

According to the researcher, the idea for the book arose in 1998 when he was writing another book, “Brazil-Lebanon, friendship that challenges the distance”, in which he covered the visit Dom Pedro II made to the Middle East. At the time, he found in Lebanon a document in Arabic reporting on the visit. In the following year, Khatlab started to write articles about the topic as a result of the researches.

“The trouble was to find bibliographic sources about these trips took by Dom Pedro II to the Arab Midde East. There are a lot of books about the monarch, but the ones covering his stay in the Middle East and his interest for the region are rare”, said Khatlab to ANBA. That’s how he started to gather documents and write in 2006. The work included research at the Petrópolis Imperial Museum, in European libraries and archives in the Middle East, in Syria, Egypt and Lebanon.

“I found documents in Arabic, some of them unknown. These documents in Arabic, besides being in the book, will be copied, go through a certifiable translation for Portuguese and put up for exhibition at the Imperial Museum”, says the writer. For this work, Khatlab had cultural and research support of Bank Audi and Café Super Brasil Company, both from Lebanon.

Khatlab said to have a special kind of satisfaction in releasing the book. “I’ve always had a great admiration for Dom Pedro II and after finding out about his interest for the culture, language and Arab people increased my interest for the magnanimous monarch that also spoke, read and wrote in Arabic, a monarch of the tropics that read about and studied the East and learned Arabic not as a pastime but because in the streets of Rio de Janeiro there were people that spoke Arabic”, he says, talking about the immigrants.

The researcher believes that there is more to learn about the topic and emphasizes the importance of living in Lebanon to be able to finish his work. “I feel privileged to live in the East and to had the opportunity to read the monarch’s diary on the spot and to better understand what he wrote, say and felt”, said Khatlab. The writer plans to publish the work also in the Middle East so the Arabs themselves can get to know more about the monarch that visited them.

The author points out that the painting that appears on the book cover is the creation of Iryna Novytska, Ukrainian artist living in Lebanon. It was created based on Khatlab’s recommendations and portrays a simple citizen monarch, riding a white mare, a reference that came from the diaries. The arch in the image, which in Arabic means “al kantara”, is the same as the monarch’s last name, Alcântara, according to the writer.

The release of the book “The journeys of D. Pedro II” takes place on August 20th. At 7 PM, at the Petrópolis Imperial Museum. There will also be another launching on August 21st, at the Quinta da Boa Vista Museum in the city of Rio de Janeiro, at 3 PM. In the city of São Paulo the book will be launched on August 27th at Clube Atlético Monte Líbano, at 8:30 PM, August 28th at Paulista University (Unip), at 9 AM, and on August 29th, at Clube Sírio, at 4 PM.

Title: The journeys of D. Pedro II
Author: Roberto Khatlab
Benvirá Publishing Company
2015, 1st edition, 408 pages
R$ 54,90 (US$ 15.6)
ISBN: 9788582402313

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani

fonte: @edisonmariotti #edisonmariotti

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